Global Forest Expert Panels (GFEP) Programme

The Global Forest Expert Panels (GFEP) Programme provides a mechanism for effectively communicating information and scientific expertise to governments and intergovernmental processes related to forests and trees. The core of the Programme are objective and independent scientific assessments of key issues of high concern, supporting more informed decision-making at the regional and global level.

The Programme is designed to consolidate available information and expertise of interdisciplinary fields, focusing on forest related issues. This information is communicated in a concise way, including peer-reviewed scientific assessments, policy briefs and stakeholder events. The Programme consists of different work areas, including the Global Forest Expert Panels initiative, follow-up studies and regional activities.

Global assessments conducted by interdisciplinary Panels uniting leading scientists from around the world are the foundation of the GFEP initiative. Between 2009 and 2020 seven thematic reports were successfully completed: Adaptation of Forests and People to Climate Change (2009), International Forest Governance (2011), Biodiversity, Forest Management, and REDD+ (2012), Forests and Food Security (2015), Illegal Timber Trade (2016), Forests and Water (2018) and Forests and Poverty (2020). The eighth GFEP assessment on Forests and Human Health is currently ongoing and is planned for publication in early 2023.

The follow-up studies review previously published global assessments and publish illustrating new data and developments. They follow a similar scheme as the Global assessments under the Global Forest Expert Panels initiative, bringing together leading scientists from around the globe and representing a diversity and balance of research foci, geographical representation and gender. The first follow-up study focuses on the REDD+ scheme and the effects of its implementation in the last 10 years. The results of this study were published in May 2022.

Regional activities in economically disadvantaged countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America may include the development of regional policy briefs of global GFEP assessments, regional workshops disseminating scientific outcomes and regional assessments of specific topics. Two policy briefs focused on Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (2010) and on Forest and Poverty Alleviation in Africa (2010) have been published under this workstream.